EU Commission pitches legislation to boost repair services –

The European Commission on Wednesday (22 March) presented the final piece in a series of proposals to reduce product waste.

The proposal for a directive on common rules promoting the repair of goods aims to support the European Green Deal targets by increasing incentives for consumers to repair their products instead of replacing them, especially after the legal guarantee of a product expires.

The proposal promises to boost demand and consequently competition for repairers and reward sustainable business models.

“The proposal aims to promote repair after sale when the products become defective, to achieve consumer savings, and to boost the repair sector. The bigger picture is to achieve less waste, and less viable goods are thrown away,” said a senior EU official. 

Implications for consumers

The proposal targets obstacles such as high costs, lack of information, limited access to spare parts, and the absence of standardisation and interoperability. It also promises to simplify and render reparation services more cost-efficient. 

According to the proposal, the ‘right to repair’ for consumers extends beyond the legal guarantee period of a minimum of 2 years under EU law. Thus, consumers can be offered repair unless a replacement is less expensive. 

Producers will be obliged to inform consumers about their products and reparation services to ensure that consumers have easy access to information. In addition, a “European Repair Information Form” will allow consumers to retain any information from any repairer.

To easily identify a suitable repairer, an online matchmaking repair platform will be introduced to display different criteria for searching by for a repairer.

“Only 20% of defective devices are currently repaired in the EU, even though the willingness of EU citizens for repair is much higher than that,” emphasised the Right to Repair shadow rapporteur for the Greens/EFA Group, Anna Cavazzini.

Implications for companies

The new obligation affects product manufacturers, not self-repair services.

“The match-making platform is a voluntary tool in which all repair sellers and independent repairers can be given access to from different…